During prehistoric times, the Chickasaw Indian tribe migrated to what is now known as Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. In 1540, the tribe's first interaction with Europeans occurred when they made contact with Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.
The Chickasaws implemented a comprehensive ruling system that contained religion and laws. They conducted trade business with several other tribes and with the English and the French. While the Chickasaws' lifestyle was focused on agriculture, they were still known as warriors who were quick to battle when necessary. During the French and Indian War, the Chickasaws allied with the English, and several historians credit the tribe for the United States adopting English as its mother tongue.
When the Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830, the Chickasaw tribe agreed to move to the Indian Territory. They transferred to southeast Oklahoma and lived among the Choctaw tribe. In 1854, the Chickasaws separated from the Choctaws and relocated to south-central Oklahoma. The tribe's leaders then established the Chickasaw Nation's capital at Tishomingo, Oklahoma.
When the Civil War broke out, the Chickasaw tribe allied with the South and fought with the Confederacy. They formed the Choctaw/Chickasaw Mounted Regiment and were headquartered at Fort Washita. The Chickasaw Nation was officially dissolved to make way for Oklahoma statehood in 1907. Many tribe members either joined the local population or moved away, and there was no official Chickasaw tribe until they reorganized in 1963.